Skin is the reflection of one's overall health. Being the largest organ in the body it needs utmost care. It is assumed that there are about 3000 skin disorders, which depicts the importance of skincare. One of the common diseases affecting the skin is Psoriasis. 2-3% of the whole world is affected by psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease characterized by dry itchy patches with scaly lesions. Usually, the skin cells regrow every 28 days replacing the older skin cells which play a major role in maintaining the elasticity of the skin. Where in Psoriasis the skin cells will grow in 5-15 days faster than the normal cycle. Before the old skin cells peel off the new skin cells appear forming layers of dry flaky skin. This results in scaling of the skin, plaque formation, severe itching, inflammation, redness, and cuts on the skin which bleeds. The lesions are usually seen in the elbows, scalp, knees, palms, feet, face, and back region.
The cause of Psoriasis is not known so far. Some scholars opine that it has a genetic cause. It is a non-communicable skin disease, which means it does not spread. But it runs in the family. Even though it is an Autoimmune disease, certain triggering factors cause a flare-up of the disease namely cold weather, stress, consumption of sour food items, seafood, dairy products, etc. Alcohol consumption and tobacco usage act as a catalyst in Psoriasis Treatment.
The genetic factors, along with the poor immunity and an unhealthy lifestyle result in the development of Psoriasis. Metabolic compromise happens before the appearance of Psoriatic patches. Along with the environmental factors, weak digestion also plays a significant role in the formation of psoriatic lesions. Psoriasis is directly proportional to stress, which means Psoriasis gets flared up with stress and vice versa. It's very common to see persons with Psoriasis suffering from stress and depression.
According to Ayurveda, every disease is caused by the imbalance of Dosha. In Ayurveda, Pitta dosha is the prominent dosha located in the skin, any imbalance of it can be reflected in the skin. But the other two Doshas, place an equally important role in determining the type of skin. That is, the Vata predominant skin will be dry, cracking, and cool to touch. Whereas the Pitta Predominance is identified by slightly oily, warm, and reddish skin. And Kapha's predominant skin is characterized by firm and oily skin.
Pitta Dosha also plays a major role in proper digestion, thus its imbalance leads to improper digestion too. As per Ayurveda, after digestion, the essence of Ahara called ahara rasa is formed and it is utilized for the development of 7 deaths. Among these, the first dathu formed is known as Rasa dathu and the skin(tweak in Ayurveda) is formed from the Rasa Dhatu. So any imbalance in digestion will directly reflect on the skin. That is why Ayurveda recommends Pathya’s (Do's) and Apathya’s (Don'ts) related to Age, disease, dosha, season, body type, body strength, etc. The characteristic features of Psoriasis treatment can be correlated to Sidhma, Eka kushta, or Kitibha of Ayurveda. As per Ayurveda, these kushta rogas are mostly of Kapha-Vata imbalance. Hence we see the dryness, itching, scaly lesions, cracking skin, etc in Psoriasis.
It differs from person to person, severity, chronicity, etc. The most common symptoms are as follows:-
Psoriasis Ayurvedic treatment aims to bring back the doshik balance. The mainly affected doshas are Vata and Kapha in association with the imbalance of Pitta. The accumulation of Dushi visha ( low potency poisons) also acts as a catalyst in Psoriasis development. The best Ayurvedic treatment for Psoriasis includes Sodhana chikitsa, Samana chikitsa, and Rasayana chikitsa.
Panchakarma Treatment is the key line treatment for most autoimmune diseases for Psoriasis. The sodhana chikitsa aims at removing the impurities from the cellular level, which is termed Dushi Visha in Ayurveda, along with bringing back the doshas in Harmony. The various detox procedures include Vamana, Virechana, Vasti & Raktha Mokshana.
As a continuation of the Sodhana chikitsa, it is done, it includes the application of various lepam (medicated paste), giving internal medicines, and external therapies like Thakradhara, Kashayadhara, etc.
It mainly aims at arresting the recurrence of the disease and boosting immunity. In the chronic condition of Psoriasis, repeated detox is recommended. Along with the medicines, lifestyle, as well as dietary changes, place a key role in the management of Psoriasis.